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The Traditions of the Hopi, by H.R. Voth, [1905], at


A long time ago Pöokónghoya and his little brother Balö'ngahoya lived north of the village at the shrine of the Achámali. One day they heard that two beautiful maidens were watching some fields west of the village of Hû'ckovi, of which the ruins may still be seen a few miles north-west of Oraíbi. They concluded that they would go hunting and at the same time visit those two maidens. When they arrived there the maidens joyfully greeted them and they were joking and teasing each other. The maidens believed that the two brothers had come with the intention to marry them, and they said, in a half-jesting manner, to their suitors: "We will cut off an arm from each one of you, and if you do not die you may own us." The younger brother was at once willing, saying to his elder brother: "They are beautiful; let us not be afraid of having our arm cut off." The elder brother hesitated, saying, that that would hurt. So the younger brother said, "I am willing," laid his right arm over the edge of the mealing trough at which the maidens had been working, and one of the maidens struck the arm with the upper mealing stone and cut it off, the arm dropping into the trough or bin. His elder brother hereupon laid his arm over the edge of the bin, which consisted of a thin, sharp slab, and the other maiden also cut his arm off with her mealing stone. Now the two brothers said: "If we recover, we shall come after you. Hand us our arm, now." The maidens did so and the two brothers left, each one carrying his severed arm, Arriving at their home north of Oraíbi, they told their grandmother what had happened. "There," she said, "you have been in something again and have done some mischief." "Yes," they said, "We met two beautiful

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maidens and liked them very much, and so we allowed them to cut off our arms. Very well, she said, "I am going to set you right again." So she asked them to lay down north of the fireplace. She placed the two arms by their sides, covered them up, whereupon she commenced to sing a song. When she was through singing, she told them now to get up. They did so and found their arms healed. The next day they proceeded to the house of the maidens, who were surprised to see them fully recovered. The older of the two sisters was the prettier one and Pöokónghoya wanted to choose that one. His younger brother protested, saying: "Yesterday you were not willing to have your arm cut off, as you were then afraid, and now you want to have the first choice. I had my arm cut off first and I am going to choose first," to which his elder brother finally consented. They slept with the maidens that night and then left them and returned to their home north of Oraíbi.


81:1 Told by Qöyáwainia (Oraíbi).

Next: 19. The Pöokónghoyas and the Cannibal Monster